Many people with controlling exes once had controlling spouses. In fact, that’s what landed many of them in a Toronto divorce lawyer’s office in the first place. Since you are either in the process of a divorce or you’re already on your own, it’s reasonable to expect your ex will back off. But what if he or she doesn’t get the message that their reign of terror is over? Is there a tactful way to deal with them, or should you go head-to-head until one of you wins?

When Your Ex Grasps for Control

Your Toronto divorce lawyer will probably advise you to keep the peace whenever possible. Some situations dictate that you call your lawyer, but many can be dealt with more subtly.

Since you are split up, your ex might try to:

  • Demand information on your whereabouts or your kids’ whereabouts
  • Repeatedly call, text or email you in an attempt to get your undivided attention
  • Insist that you do things his or her way, “or else”
  • Ignore your boundaries, barge into your home or show up where you work
  • Verbally abuse you over the phone or in person
  • Expect you to comply with his or her wishes
  • Physically abuse you by pushing, hitting, restraining or kicking you

Try to ignore your ex’s grasps at control over your life. However, if he or she crosses the line into stalking or harassment, call your Toronto divorce lawyer.

If your spouse becomes abusive, remember that domestic violence is a very serious crime. Call 9-1-1 and get to a safe location before calling your lawyer.

Impossible Exes: What Drives Them?

Sometimes narcissism drives a person to control others. Sometimes it’s an over-inflated sense of competition, and other times it’s a sort of mental regression into primal instincts that are prompted by the stress of divorce. Finally, some people are just not nice, according to Dr. Mark Banschick, author of The Intelligent Divorce.

Taking Back the Reins

Remember that your ex has no jurisdiction over you. You don’t have to please him or her, worry about his or her comfort or try to justify anything you’re doing. If you’re struggling, it’s okay to talk to a therapist who can help you work toward being secure in your own independence; in fact, your Toronto divorce lawyer will probably be happy to recommend someone.

When to Call Your Toronto Divorce Lawyer

Sometimes controlling exes know no bounds. If your ex is interrupting your life, harassing you or has assaulted you—verbally or physically—you’ll need to involve your Toronto divorce lawyer. Your lawyer can stand up for your rights in court to make sure that your controlling ex stops trying to force your life in the wrong direction.